Fallon junior Zoey Jarrett is the team’s only returning starter, but the Lady Wave have begun the season with eight straight wins.
In recent years, the Lady Wave, like other perennial powers in the 3A, opened the season with the challenging Reno tournament, getting a good look at the best competition in the area.
The last two seasons, though, Kevin Wickware’s team took a detour through Hawthorne to begin the season, still facing strong competition from the smaller classes. Going 5-0 in the Mineral County tournament wasn’t a fluke as Fallon knocked off a pair of 3A foes before blowing out Carson, a 5A school, on the road on Saturday.
“I liked our style of pace that we played,” Wickware said of Fallon’s opening tournament. “We like to push the ball. We have some confident basketball players. I like the depth of our team.”
After outscoring its opposition by 206 points in five games in Hawthorne, Fallon came from behind to defeat Truckee, which won state two seasons ago, 40-33, last Tuesday. The Lady Wave cruised past Sparks, 66-23, the following day before taking down Carson, 68-41.
Fallon traveled to North Valleys on Wednesday and it hosts Sage Ridge on Friday at 5 p.m. before facing Hug on Saturday in Reno at 1 p.m.
After the Hawthorne tournament, Wickware stressed with this young team – Fallon returns one starter – consistency will be critical to Fallon’s success.
“We want to re-emphasize the things we are doing. It’s not as inconsistent as it could be,” said Wickware, who’s assisted by William Wallace, Eric Bickel and Mike Berney. Darby Rowe is coaching the JV and Daniel Anderson is leading the freshmen. “It’s getting experience, especially four freshmen getting good minutes, and getting the pace of play that varsity runs.”
Although the team is young, this season isn’t the first time the players have been together. Wickware ran a spring league and took the program to Utah over the summer.
Zoey Jarrett, a junior and the lone returning starter, has become a leader on the court this year along with junior Madison Moyle, who moved from Gardnerville, seniors Graycee Tibbals and Liliana Bettencourt. Senior RayAnn Rasmussen is the only other returning player from last year’s team.
“We have kids who understand what it takes to compete,” Wickware said.
After missing the playoffs last year, Wickware’s goal is to prepare this year’s group to make a run at one of the six positions. Fallon made the postseason in his first year but exited early, ending a run of three-straight state championships under Anne Smith.
“Our goal is to make sure we’re competitive and doing what we want to do,” he added. “As long as we’re doing the stuff we work on in practice, I feel like we have a good chance of making the postseason. Like any team, we have to take care of business when it’s time to play.”
And so far, Fallon has.
Moyle leads the team in scoring at 9.7 points per game followed by freshman Jada Anastasio (8.9) and Jarrett (7.7). Jarrett is dishing 3.0 assists per game while freshman Janessa Bettencourt is pulling down 6.7 rebounds per game.
Fallon’s defense, though, has been strong so far with 23 steals per game and holding opponents to under 40 points in seven of eight games.
“We have a really strong group of girls. With this style of basketball, we have to use a lot of players,” Wickware said. “That was great about (Hawthorne). Nobody cared who was more successful. We took care of business as a team. It showed in some of our scores where they were more balanced. That shows the growth of our team right there.”
As Fallon progresses in league play, Wickware said Fallon will compete in one of the toughest divisions in the Silver State when it returns from winter break. The Lady Wave’s 3A East opener is Jan. 6 against the defending state champs in Winnemucca.
“It’s one of the toughest divisions in our state,” Wickware said. “Elko returns its entire starting lineup. Fernley didn’t lose much from its main contributors. Lowry returns the Player of the Year. They’re all going to be good. That’s what you like in your conference. You’re showing up to play every day.”
Fallon girls basketball varsity roster
- Liliana Bettencourt, Sr.
- Jada Anastasio, Fr.
- Dylan Ekins-Faught, Fr
- Kambrie Thorn, Sr.
- Zoey Jarrett, Jr.
- Graycee Tibbals, Sr.
- Janessa Bettencourt, Fr.
- Mattea Cortez, Sr.
- RayAnn Rasmussen, Sr.
- Madasyn Moyle, Jr.
- Skai Shults, Jr.
- Vernita Fillmore, So.
- Lea Williams, Fr.